Live Music: Rainbow Rowed; Beats for Britny; Sean Kelly; Poppynative

Great shows to check out this week

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PROVIDED
  • Provided

R&B | Poppynative
w/ Diapoura (headliner) and Contour
Wed. Oct. 11
9 p.m.
$5
The Royal American

Tonight's Royal American show is something of a homecoming for Diaspoura, who recently moved away from Charleston and is rolling through town off of her first Northeast U.S. tour. As with other Diaspoura shows, this one promises to provide a safe, celebratory space for queer and transgender attendees as well as women and people of color. Also on the bill is local R&B/hip-hop artist Contour and up-and-coming R&B singer Poppynative. Poppynative, the stage name of Ronnasia Pinkney, has quietly become an artist to look out for in Charleston's growing R&B scene. Earlier this year she released a two-song single entitled Samoa. Her new project entitled Soft Spoken is expected to be out by the end of 2017, and she promises to sample some of the new tunes at the Royal American. She is also a firm believer in the future of Charleston's R&B and hip-hop scenes. "Music is this beautiful, universal thing that breaks so many barriers," she says. "And we're in a good position because there are so many young, fresh people who are helping make this scene grow." —Alex Peeples

WEDNESDAY

PROVIDED
  • Provided

PROGRESSIVE POP | Sean Kelly
w/ Peter Holsapple, Finnegan Bell
Fri. Oct. 13
9 p.m.
$5
The Royal American

For those familiar with the heartfelt, straightforward jangle-rock of Charleston's A Fragile Tomorrow band, the new solo album by AFT's singer/guitarist Sean Kelly might come as quite a surprise. Rather than delving further into his band's guitar-heavy sound, Kelly's Time Bomb, Baby LP is awash with chilly synths, cavernous drums, and complex song structures. It's a deliberate nod to the progressive-but-poppy artists Kelly grew up admiring like Peter Gabriel, Bryan Ferry, and Kate Bush. "The whole idea was to find something that was a musical theme or thread," he says. "I've always wanted to make a record like that. I looked to a lot of Peter Gabriel's early solo work, because that's sort of become something that's ingrained in my songwriting; the different time signatures and odd left turns attracted me to that kind of music." Kelly played most of the instruments on Time Bomb, Baby himself, but bassist and singer Gail Ann Dorsey, who's worked with David Bowie and Bryan Ferry among many others, guests on the album as well. "I loved the use of female backup singers in Bryan Ferry's solo work," he says. "I was thinking about who I could get to do that, and Gail was one of the first people that popped into my mind. We had some mutual friends, but I didn't know her at all. I reached out, and she agreed to do it. It was hard not to be a fanboy when she was there." —Vincent Harris FRIDAY

JONATHON STOUT
  • Jonathon Stout

Fundraiser | Beats for Britny
Ben Fagan & the Holy City Hooligans, Matt Monday, Damn Skippy, Little Stranger, DJ Rehab
Fri. Oct. 13
9 p.m.
$10/adv., $15/door
Pour House

Whether you know it or not, you've probably danced to Luis Skye's beats before. The Columbia-based DJ is like an honorary Charlestonian with his pretty frequent appearances around town, most notably his popular Luis Skye & Friends classic hip-hop showcases at the Pour House featuring members of the Holy City Hip-Hop Committee. This time around, it's the Friends who thought to put on a show for Skye and his family. Less than three months ago, his wife Britny was diagnosed with an aggressive form of acute myeloid leukemia and had to immediately begin treatment. "For 35 days straight she underwent aggressive treatment all while losing her hair and 18 pounds on top of that," Skye says. Her treatments are set to continue until February. To give back to an artist who has done so much for the community, Skye's friends/artists Matt Slonim and Ben Fagan had the idea of doing a benefit show. This weekend's Beats for Britny will feature Ben Fagan & the Holy City Hooligans, Matt Monday, Damn Skippy, Little Stranger, DJ Rehab, and special guests. All proceeds go straight to Britny's medical fund. Skye says, "These guys have been close family and friends not only in the music scene but in life and came together to help make this night a beautiful one, I'm sure." —Kelly Rae Smith FRIDAY

JONATHAN BONCEK
  • Jonathan Boncek

POETRY AND HIP-HOP | Rainbow Rowed
w/ Benjamin Starr, Marcus Amaker, Matt Monday, Asiah Thomas, Stephan Whaley, Matthew Foley
Sun. Oct. 15
7:30 p.m.
$11
PURE Theatre

Rap music is arguably at its best when confronting social issues, which makes Rainbow Rowed so special. Part of Marcus Amaker's Free Verse Festival, the event "explores the disconnect between Charleston's image and its reality. A reality where black suffering is ignored when uncomfortable and commodified when convenient," says hip-hop artist Benjamin Starr. The rundown for the event will see poets and rappers, like Starr and Matt Monday, paired off with expert panelists from different fields. Using the emotion of the words and the logic of the facts, poems will be composed about various social dilemmas. The format of the event "highlights the symbiotic relationship between art and civics, both of which are necessary to build a community worthy of the title Charleston Strong," says Starr. The civic engagement event is presented by the Very Hypnotic Soul Band and Charleston Sticks Together, who will be joined by Shaudnra Scott of the ACLU, author and historian Professor Damon Fordham, Kat Morgan of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), and artist, musician, and attorney Elliott Smith. —Heath Ellison SUNDAY


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